The coronavirus has affected several individuals from different age groups across India. In certain states, there are families who contract the virus and take close to 2-3 months to recover from the post-COVID-19 symptoms. Bengaluru is one such metropolitan city that has shown a great increase in the number of cases since the onset of the second wave. However, living with your significant other makes it easier, simply because you always have someone to talk to and be at peace.
Madonna William and Cherian Joseph are a Bengaluru based couple who contracted the virus on March 2, 2021. "I believe my husband contracted the virus from me even though I was asymptomatic initially. He started showing symptoms like fever and cough and on the third day, I completely lost my smell and taste. I realized this while I was cooking, and I kept adding salt to the curry, but it just didn't taste! It was a bitter-sweet moment when this happened," said Madonna to The Logical Indian.
Although the couple tested positive on the same day, they recovered on different days. Madonna recovered on the seventh day of her quarantine and Cherian on the eighth day. Madonna works at Bank of Baroda as a technical officer attached to the premises department and Cherian is a self-employed individual who has his own business.
A shaky beginning
"I was at work when I got the report of my husband and it was positive. Initially, I panicked, and I immediately informed my colleagues that he had tested positive. At my workplace, this was nothing new since we get to know a lot of staff members who test positive, almost daily. It sure caused a lot of anxiety, however, we managed. You always have it in your head that you probably won't contract the virus but when you do, it's a tricky situation," added Madonna.
Home remedies and daily routine
When asked about their daily routine during their isolation, Cherian said they consulted their family doctor first for all the necessary medicines and the food to be consumed during this period. A lot of fluids became a part of their diet and steam was also done daily. Kashaya, a water decoction with a lot of herbs was also taken by the couple. This helped in bringing relief to the throat and helps boost immunity. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, turmeric, sea salt, Zinc tablets also helped them during their period of isolation. Indoor life was the new normal for them since they are a couple who travel a lot. A lover of bike rides, roads and greenery, Cherian found it difficult on certain days just looking out of the hazy windows and missing his outdoor life.
Travel enthusiasts locked in the room
"I sure was uncomfortable and frustrated in the beginning. I am a person who is fascinated by travelling. My wife and I tested together on the seventh day. Nevertheless, I was still positive, and she was negative. I had an upcoming basketball tournament on March 12 which I wanted to attend. Hence, I tested once again the next day and the result came out to be negative. Following all safety precautions, I travelled back to Kerala and played the tournament," said Cherian.
"He packed his bags and was ready to leave the second he tested negative. He sure was positive that way," added Madonna.
In addition to this, the couple has also decided that they would be taking the vaccine. Madonna already got her first dose through her bank which falls under essential services. Both of them have also donated their plasma to a COVID-19 patient. They first checked whether their anti-bodies level matches the accurate level. When a closer value was found, the couple decided to donate the plasma. As per information from their family doctor, they can now get the vaccine after 2-3 months. Nevertheless, they have decided that they would be getting the vaccine as soon as slots re-open.
The new normal
The couple decided to get tested at the same time so that they could isolate and heal together. "Staying alone in two separate rooms would have made anyone an emotional wreck. We were glad that we had each other to talk to. For the initial few days, Madonna cooked the food. However, when she started losing the smell and taste, it was my turn to take up the cooking area. We both took turns too," said Cherian.
For the first few days, the couple did isolate in separate rooms because they had different symptoms. However, they then started interacting when things got better. They also ordered food from Swiggy and Zomato. Living in Bengaluru, the couple found it extremely convenient that food was being left at their doorstep.
Apart from this, the people of the society where Madonna and Cherian live were also understanding. They knew how to take safety precautions, how to handle in case a resident tested positive and so on. In addition to this, their friends and family members kept a constant check on them which helped them feel better.
The couple also took a few days to break from their workspace. Madonna got a 15-day break with a special allowance during this period. "My workspace gave us a break, and everything was handled by our teammates. It was essential to fully recover and then resume work because I have a lot of friends who have post-COVID symptoms and who are still taking time to recover," added Madonna.
During their quarantine, Madonna pursued her hobby of dancing and read books to keep herself engaged. Although dancing isn't new in her life, she decided to spend a significant part of the day learning a routine. In addition to this, on the last day, both decided to learn a dance routine and they shot the video and sent it to their friends and family. Cherian also engaged himself in cooking and cleaning the place regularly.
"People who do not have a good ambience and a positive aura at their homes would have found it difficult to go through the whole isolation process. There are a lot of people who do not get such privileges. Although our symptoms were mild, we could easily recover by staying at home. But again, if you tell a traveller to stay and not move out, it's tough! That bothered us. A friend of mine quarantined close to 80 days in a hotel room to get a flight to India. I am glad we recovered on time" added Cherian.
When asked about what was their major takeaway from their period of isolation, Madonna said how all the senses in a human body are extremely important. Losing one or more of these senses makes us realize how we often take them for granted. There tends to be an imbalance in the body when you do not have your senses. "I have had friends who informed me they did not get their sense of smell and taste even after three months. There was no contentment in eating food. Nevertheless, to stay fit and healthy, we did have a balanced diet," added Madonna.
"At some point in time, you do tend to get lenient. You compromise taking the precautions and that's when it generally happens. It is important to be grateful for your privileges and live in the moment. Follow your day-to-day hygiene practices and keep wearing a mask," mentioned the couple.
Also Read: Road To Recovery: 'We Fought Against COVID-19 As A Family,' Naqvi Sisters Share Isolation Experience